At some point in the movie, Stranger Than Fiction, the character played by Emma Thompson worries about the number of characters she’s killed off in her novels over the years. Of course, in her case, she’s come to believe that her character, played in the film by Will Farrell, is now a living breathing person. But do you ever give this any thought? Do you wonder if your writing is too blood-thirsty? Or that you watch movies or read books and feel little remorse at the body count? Do you watch Dexter and don't feel a bit guilty for loving it?
I have killed off about a dozen characters in my stories. They have died by a variety of methods, none pleasant. Do you ever pull back from this either in reading or writing? How far is too far? Do the novels of 50 years ago show more restraint?